Drew Estate’s collaborative cigar with Metallica frontman James Hetfield and Blackened Whiskey is now shipping to stores that are part of the Drew Diplomat Retail Program.

The Blackened Cigars “M81” by Drew Estate is a new four-size line that uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a broadleaf binder from the Connecticut River Valley. The fillers include maduro tobaccos from Nicaragua as well as Pennsylvania Green River One Sucker, one of the strongest types of tobaccos used in cigars.

M81 is a reference to Metallica and 1981, the year the band was founded.

It’s offered in four sizes:

  • Blackened Cigars “M81” by Drew Estate Corona Doble (7 x 50) — $10.35 (Box of 20, $207)
  • Blackened Cigars “M81” by Drew Estate Toro (6 x 52) — $9.85 (Box of 20, $197)
  • Blackened Cigars “M81” by Drew Estate Robusto (5 x 50) — $9.45 (Box of 20, $189)
  • Blackened Cigars “M81” by Drew Estate Corona (5 x 43) — $9.15 (Box of 20, $183)

The project took more than two years to develop. Hetfield—who is the lead singer and main songwriter for Metallica—and Rob Dietrich, master distiller of Blackened Whiskey frequently smoked cigars together. Dietrich introduced Hetfield to Jonathan Drew, Drew Estate’s co-founder and president, and the project was born.

“BLACKENED Cigars ‘M81’ by Drew Estate is a dark, bold and unapologetic collaboration into what Rob, Jonathan and I believe is the perfect full-bodied cigar,” said Hetfield in a press release.

While the cigars have just begun shipping to retail stores, some consumers have already smoked the cigars. Drew Estate promoted the cigar ahead of its debut during a late September Freestyle Live Show, the company’s internet broadcast. As it has done in the past, it sold unbanded sampler packs of the then-unannounced cigar as part of the promotion for that event. In addition, banded cigars were handed out at Drew Estate’s Kentucky Barn Smoker and the Savage Feast events.

Blackened Whiskey was a project between Metallica and the late Dave Pickerell, the former master blender of Maker’s Mark. Shortly before his passing, Pickerell worked with the band to develop a whiskey brand where the band’s songs are played to the whiskey using low-frequency soundwaves while the whiskey is in barrels.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.